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  • Highly anticipated Vanguard: Saga of Heroes MMORPG using the EMotion FX
    Character Animation System at E3

    Hot off the E3 Press Release list comes this exciting announcement by Mystic Game Development about thier work with Sigil Games Online.

    ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - May 10, 2006 - Mystic Game Development, a pioneer
    in real-time character animation middleware, today announced that Sigil Game
    Online's Vanguard: Saga of Heroes was built using Mystic's EMotion FX
    real-time character animation technology as a core component. The MMORPG
    game, which received coverage in all 3 major US PC magazines recently, is
    being shown at E3 in LA this week.

    "Having met and worked with the Sigil team since 2004, we set out to evolve
    EMotion FX as it was then, into the production SDK it is now. Put it this
    way, imagine having 2000 different characters and having to animate them all
    individually. Instead, you animate just 1 character and play back the same
    motion data on all characters, so saving a huge amount of animator time"
    said John van der Burg, Development Director at Mystic Game Development. "We
    are delighted to see what Sigil has been creating and look forward to
    playing the game".

    "To give a character over 500 unique motions and very detailed character
    customization down to a per bone level needs a special Animation product"
    continues John van der Burg, from Mystic Game Development. "When you are
    creating a game with the scope and scale of Vanguard you need the right
    animation engine and the right support"

    "EMotion FX has given us the ability to have myriad distinct player
    character models while allowing us to share most of the mesh assets and
    animations," said Kevin McPherson, Senior Programmer at Sigil Games Online.
    "I have found the API easy to integrate, well written, and it supports the
    variety of complex features we needed for our character and animation
    systems. These systems include asset sharing through retargeting and
    shrink-wrapping, customization, look-at controllers, and motion
    blending/mixing.I recommend EMotion FX to developers that are looking for a
    total character solution."

    About Mystic Game Development
    Founded in Rotterdam, The Netherlands in 1999, Mystic Game Development is a
    pioneer in real-time character animation products used by leading game
    developers such as Mythic Entertainment, Sigil Games Online, Webzen, SimBin,
    Nexon Corporation, IMC Games, Piranha Bytes, EGN Co., and DragonFly GF Co.
    For more information visit

    About Sigil Games Online
    Based in Carlsbad, California, Sigil Games Online is a studio dedicated to
    creating massively multiplayer online (MMO) games. Founded in 2002 by Brad
    McQuaid and Jeff Butler, key figures in the development of award-winning
    EverQuest, the company plans to be a driving force in the continued
    evolution of this unique genre. Sigil Games Online is comprised of an
    all-star team of experienced developers with an impressive pedigree of
    commercially successful and critically acclaimed online games. For more
    information, visit

    Wed, May 10, 2006
  • Turbine, Inc. has officially started taking Beta player registrations for the highly-anticipated The Lord of the Rings Online(TM): Shadows of Angmar(TM), the first and only massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) based on the literary works of J.R.R. Tolkien.

    For your chance to be selected for The Lord of the Rings Online(TM) Beta,Sign - up Here. The Beta Program will launch later this summer.

    Beta, Official Announcements
    Wed, May 10, 2006
  • "Fastest, Most Destructive" and soon to be... bigger!

    Pro-G has the scoop from the NetDevil team about "Update 1" for Auto Assault, which includes a number of missions for high level highway warriors.

    In what will be the first of many planned updates to the game, Auto Assault players will soon be able to play in twelve new high-level (65+) missions, 15 new Biomek missions, 20 new Human missions, and 27 new Mutant missions. If you're bored of the player you've created, the new Character re-spec feature will let you re-spend your points on a brand new character.

    Check out Auto Assault's "Update 1" news at Pro-G.

    Features, Previews
    Tue, May 09, 2006
  • Pictures. Guaranteed not to steal your soul.
    Our first pictures of the banners and other paraphenalia in the concourses of E3 are now up. Expect a lot more in the next few hours.

    Tue, May 09, 2006
  • Womp 'rats with a little help from EVEMon... reports on an EVE Online standalone addon which simplifies character progression.

    Dubbed EVEMon, the standalone Windows program not only simplifies character progression tracking, but also helps players plan out training plans and take a look at the “what ifs” in character skill choices and more.

    Unfortunately, the addon doesn't automate the months of mining required to make character progression more than a fun minigame. Nevertheless, check out's article on EVEMon, mon.

    Tue, May 09, 2006
  • Farlan Entertainment Reschedules
    Dark and Light™ Release for May 30th

    I just got this press release from Farlan Entertainment straight from E3! It seems that they took some time to balnace things a bit better and polished up the whole game. Now they are ready to let the masses at it!

    "Dark and Light will be available for download four days earlier, on May 26th, 2006, at 1pm UTC.

    According to César Jacquet, manager of NPCube, “As the April 2006 release date got closer, we realized we were not satisfied with the balancing and debugging, so the development team decided to postpone the release until the best conditions” were in place."

    Keep reading to see the full press release...

    Tue, May 09, 2006
  • Stranger movies have been made and the current trend to turn games into movies seems to be moving right along to the very popular World of Warcraft according to "The New York Times".

    Most Hollywood attempts at converging games and film have resulted in primarily low-budget movies. On Tuesday, Blizzard Entertainment hopes to reverse that trend as it plans to announce a deal with Legendary Pictures, a major Warner Brothers affiliate, to make a big-budget "Lord of the Rings"-style live-action film based on Blizzard's wildly popular Warcraft series.

    Many details are as yet unannounced, such as director, cast, and planned release date but it appears that Blizzard and Legendary want to depart from Hollywood's undistinguished record of turning games into lack luster films.

    "We try to make big, epic, immersive games at Blizzard, and we have a track record of making some of the best games in the world," Paul Sams, Blizzard's chief operating officer, said in an interview. "Similarly, our goal is to make one of the best films in the world. With Legendary, they have a creative and management team that is so attuned with us it was like we were separated at birth. We want to make a movie that will not only appeal to our existing fans, but will also bring in people that have never heard of Warcraft before."

    The Warcraft world has all the traditional temptations of power and tragic tales. The demon Sargeras himself began as a sort of angel before corrupting himself into an enemy of vitrue. Some other notable characters are the knight Arthas, the mage Illidan and the orc Gul'dan, all of whom were seduced by powers beyond their ken, some find redemption , others do not.

    It's one that I am sure will have a huge following, not only due to the success of the online game but fans of the RTS versions as well. I know my 13 yr old son, a huge fan of the RTS Warcraft series, was delighted with the news.

    Tue, May 09, 2006
  • E3 "Hero's Journey" Exclusive Screenshot

    Arboreal abodes? Sylvan shops? We can only speculate on what Hero's Journey goodies this new screenshot foretells!

    See it live in our TenTonHammer @ E3 2006 preview area!

    Images, Media
    Tue, May 09, 2006
  • Towards New Horizons

    At Tulga's studio in Phoenix, Arizona, we discovered a diehard team dedicated to the success and long life of Horizons: Empire of Istaria. Discover why CEO / Creative Director David Bowman and his team never gave up on the historically troubled MMO, and learn what invigorating improvements Tulga has in store for Istaria.

    "The rest of the staff present in the Horizons live team area this Friday before E3 were nearly as textbook-standard developer office as the stygian lighting; focused and intent on their work, avoiding eye-contact as they traded stabs of wry humor. A game of Axis and Allies was well underway on a nearby table, and dry erase boards covered with arcane messages were as numerous as kung fu posters, examples of game art, and the other incurious scenery of a workaday studio.

    Anyone would be impressed by the team's dedication, but why did they stick with the troubled title, rather than packing it in and focusing the team elsewhere? The answer is refreshing: the Tulga team, especially Bowman, is in love with the game's community, and they believe strongly in the game's future."

    Get the scoop from our visit to Tulga Games and our extensive interview with David Bowman in the preview section of our TenTonHammer E3 2006 coverage.

    Features, Interviews
    Tue, May 09, 2006
  • Size matters.
    E3 Insider has posted a very interesting with the people who put together the network for E3. Imagine building a portable network that can handle the stresses of an event like E3.

    "There is enough horsepower to run several cities. There are over 50 miles of Gigabit Fiber and Ethernet connections throughout 25 IDF locations. E3 requires 87 separate, custom, isolated networks INSIDE the building to provide 4200 fully route-able networks, over 2000 more translated networks to the Internet and 1000 non-routable testing and secure-private networks. This provides a capacity in excess of 7200 devices with Internet Connectivity. The E3 Network is monitored and managed 24x7 via Redundant, Fault Tolerant Monitoring Systems in the on-site Network Operations Center (NOC) and also via the Main showNets NOC in Atlanta, GA. A small Army of showNets technicians runs in excess of 6 miles of custom, temporary, Ethernet Cable throughout the LACC, providing downstream connectivity from showNets designed customer LAN's to end stations in the booths."

    You can read the entire story at

    Tue, May 09, 2006
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